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When is a Camembert worth more than Cinderella? When it's in ACTA.


Will the French defence of their agricultural sector be the downfall of ACTA? Those French cannot resist defending their cheese  - not to mention their Champagne - and it seems that soft, runny dairy products and bubbly wines are ultimately rated higher on the Francophone IP scorecard  than their weakling film industry.


A report released by La Quadrature du Net suggests that the French will catalyse an EU  walk

out of ACTA (Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement) negotiations  if the final agreement  does not include a means to protect the Camembert on the list of intellectual property rights.


It reeks  of past transatlantic disputes over food imports, where Gallic culinary superiority results in an unresolved diplomatic incident. France wants geographic indications  - protected designation of origin  - which apply to some of Europe's best known food products. The Camembert is one example, but there is also Parmesan from Italy, and  from England, we have  Stilton cheese and the Melton Mowbray pork pie!


The US is opposing inclusion of geographic indications.


It begs the question whether their film industry ever  was going to benefit from ACTA and the 3-strikes measures which France's President, Nicolas Sarkozy, is so keen on. The French film industry' collaboration with US-multi-nationals Disney and Warner to lobby for the 3-strikes in Paris and Brussels does seem inexplicable to those who follow the political economy of European media.


Because US multi-nationals dominate European media, and what is really at stake with IP enforcement measures such as 3-strikes, or any attempt to force the liabilty of ISPs, are the financial rewards oozing from hot properties such as Cinderella and Snow White.


Will ACTA melt into a gooey, sticky mess  - or is that just too cheesey?


Read the report from La Quadrature du Net


 This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK:England and Wales License. It may be used for non-commercial purposes only, and the author's name should be attributed. The correct attribution for this article is: Monica Horten (2010) French Camembert puts ACTA noses out of joint 13 September  2010








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